How your blood is used


Blood is surprisingly versatile. The blood you donate can be made into 22 different medical treatments.

Who your blood helps


People of all walks of life need blood products. Some need it to get them through a serious event in their lives, like cancer or a difficult pregnancy. Others have medical conditions which mean they need blood products regularly to stay alive or be healthy.

Jo's story

Jo owes his life to countless generous blood donors. After being diagnosed with bladder cancer at age two, he needed red cells, plasma and platelets to survive.

Daniel, Joanna and Josie's story

Like almost 17 per cent of Australia's mothers, Joanna needed anti-D injections, made from plasma, during her pregnancy.

Joanna and her family are especially grateful to Australia's amazing blood donors. Not only did Joanna receive anti-D while expecting baby Josie, her husband Daniel also needed blood treatments when he was a baby.

Mika's story

Mika needs Intragam, made from plasma, every few weeks for his blood disorder. He calls it his 'super powers' because after his treatment he's strong enough to walk.

Jacob's story

After a serious car accident, Jacob needed over 36 litres of blood to survive.

Now, he is alive and skydiving. As a way of saying 'thank you' to the donors who saved his life, Jacob is a dedicated blood donor.

Rosanne's story

Rosanne is in remission from leukaemia thanks to just a handful of special blood donors. Her rare blood type meant less than five donors in Australia could donate red cells and platelets to help save her life.

Rosanne is now a busy young woman who loves art and is studying photography.

Check your eligibility

Types of donation

There are about five litres of blood in the human body and it's made up of several useful components.

You may be able to donate whole blood, plasma or platelets. Each type of blood donation is used for different medical treatments, and your blood type determines the best donation for you to make.

For more ways to help others, consider bone marrow or organ donation.

Whole blood

What is it?

Blood collected straight from a donor, without anything taken out. After it's donated, we usually separate whole blood into red blood cells, plasma and platelets in our labs.

Who can donate?

You need to be 18-70 years old, weigh 50kg or more and be fit and healthy. Read more about recent minimum age change.

Used for:

Cancer, blood diseases, anaemia, heart disease, stomach disease, kidney disease, childbirth, operations, blood loss, trauma, burns.

Lasts for:

Red cells can be stored for 42 days.

How long does it take?

15 minutes to donate, 45 minutes for the appointment.

How often can I donate?

Every 12 weeks

Find out more about the donation process


What is it?

Straw-coloured liquid that red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets float in. It contains special nutrients used to create 18 different medical products to treat many different conditions.

Who can donate:

You need to be 18-70 years old, weigh 50kg and be fit and healthy. Other criteria apply, so call us on 13 14 95 for more details.

Used for:

Immune system conditions, muscle and nerve conditions, haemophilia, pregnancy (including anti-D injections), bleeding, shock, burns, immunisations.

Lasts for:

Plasma can last up to one year when frozen.

How does it work?

We collect some of your blood, keep the plasma and return the rest to you by apheresis.

How long does it take?

45 minutes to donate, 1.5 hours for the appointment

How often can I donate?

Every 2-3 weeks.

Find out more about the plasma donation process.


What is it?

The tiny 'plates' in blood that wedge together to help clotting and reduce bleeding. Platelets are always in demand: they're vital for people with low platelet counts, like many cancer patients.

Who can donate?

Men need to be aged between 18-70 and women aged between 20-70, weigh 50kg or more and have given a successful plasma donation in the past 12 months. Other criteria apply, so call us on 13 14 95 for more details.

Used for:

Cancer, leukaemia (particularly during chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants), surgery, trauma, liver disease.

Lasts for:

Just five days.

How does it work?

We collect some of your blood, keep the platelets and return the rest to you by apheresis.

How long does it take?

45 minutes to donate, 1.5 hours for the appointment

How often can I donate?

Every 2-4 weeks.

See our platelets brochure for more info


Thinking of giving blood?

Check your eligibility

Most people can donate blood, but some can't for health or lifestyle reasons.

Request an appointment

Many of our blood donor centres are open after office hours and on weekends.


Our friendly specialist donor centre team will be with you throughout the process.

What happens when you give blood

Being a blood donor


Most donors tell us that giving blood isn't as scary as they thought it would be. Feeling nervous? Read these tips.

Our trained donor centre staff members are there with you through the whole process. They'll explain how everything works and answer your questions. How we protect your health during donation.


It's easy, straightforward, rewarding and for a great cause. Who knows, maybe it will be you or someone you know who will need it one day!

James, New South Wales
See if you can donate

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Ready to donate?

You are able to book 3 or more days in advance.

Request appointment now


To change an existing appointment, or to speak to a customer service representative

13 14 95